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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Sign up for a new online course on interactive data visualization for the web using D3.js



Update: Registration for this course closed on March 6, 2015, after reaching maximum capacity. We are considering offering it again in the future.

If you want to go beyond the basics of working on pre-built charts and start to learn how to merge design and web development to create fully customized interactive visualizations, D3.js is the perfect tool. This powerful JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data is the topic of the new online course in English from JournalismCourses.org, the distance learning program of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, “Data Visualization and Infographics with D3." 

Sign up now! The first 100 registrants will receive a full ebook copy of Interactive Data Visualization for the Web by Scott Murray. All participants will receive ebook copies of the introduction and first two chapters of Alberto Cairo's books, The Functional Art, and the upcoming The Truthful Art, due out in 2016.

The course runs from March 16 to April 26 and will be taught by two experts with extensive experience in data visualization and who are authors of reference books in the field: Alberto Cairo, Professor of the Professional Practice at the School of Communication of the University of Miami and author of "The Functional Art", and Scott Murray, an Assistant Professor of Design at the University of San Francisco and author of "Interactive Data Visualization for the Web: An Introduction to Designing with D3".

This is the first course Murray has taught for the distance learning program of the Knight Center. Cairo has taught several regular and massive open online courses on the Knight Center’s distance learning platform in various languages. The last one was a MOOC in Portuguese, “Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization,” which attracted more than 3,000 participants and ended on May 26.  He taught the same course in English multiple times for the Knight Center's MOOC program.

"This new course takes skills to the next level because Scott will be teaching how to apply the principles of visualization into real projects by teaching D3.js, which is a Java Script library created especially for doing visualization. This is for people who already took the MOOC. For those people who didn't take the MOOC, the course can be extremely interesting obviously because it gives you a good and deep overview of the principles of visualization for communication and it also shows the practical side, how to apply those principles into the real world using D3.js. We have tried to make it as appealing to as broad an audience as possible," said Cairo.

In the modules, students will learn how to work with graphics to communicate and analyze data, and there will be a basic introduction to HTML, CSS, SVG and JavaScript. Student will learn how to generate visual elements from data using the D3.js, and to make the best graphic choices for the data, among other practical lessons. More details about the course can be found here. Previous experience in design or programming is not required to participate in this course.

"We will introduce HTML, CSS, and JavaScript from the ground up. That said, we are only going to address the portions that are directly applicable to the course exercises," explained Murray. "Expect clear introductions to these topics that will bring new coders up to speed. Do not expect comprehensive explorations of all of these powerful technologies! Any prior experience you bring with any programming language will help you move more quickly through the material and tackle more advanced projects."

This six-week course will cost US $95.00, which may be paid by credit card. Included in this fee is the cost of the certificate of participation in PDF form, which will be issued by the Knight Center after verification that a student has met the minimum requirements at the end of the course. The certificate, however, does not count for any credit or academic accreditation.

“Data Visualization and Infographics with D3” will be divided into weekly modules that include multimedia materials and discussion forums. Most of the course activities can be completed ​​in the days and times that best suit the student. The number of participants is limited and registrations can be done at this link.

“At the Knight Center, we are very excited to offer this course, because we know the need for this type of training is highly sought in journalistic companies around the world,” said Professor Rosental Alves, founder and director of the Knight Center. “We will continue working to offer MOOCs, which are open and free courses on broader issues, but we are also producing inexpensive courses for limited groups of participants on more specialized topics. The MOOCs are more general while closed courses, such as visualization with D3, are more specialized and more advanced.”

Nearly 50,000 people from 160 countries have benefited from the MOOC program launched in October 2012 by the Knight Center. Before that, from 2003 to 2012, the Center trained more than 7,000 journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean through online courses offered to limited groups of participants, similar to this one on data visualization.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created in 2002 by Professor Rosental Alves, who holds the Knight Chair in Journalism and the UNESCO Chair in Communication at the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism. In the past, the Center was financed by major grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as well from other donors, such as Open Society Foundations. Currently, the Center receives support from the University of Texas at Austin's Moody College of Communication and donations from the public.

 

 



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